Sunday, May 18, 2014

Source: Horiemon - April, 2014
Translation by: Toppi - CoMYVz Crew

World Acclaimed Samurai Guitarist MIYAVI Talks about the Future of Musicians - Part 4


HORIE: Well then, leaving overseas tours aside, where do your earnings come from?

MIYAVI: Things like CDs and Japanese tours are still a much greater source of income after all, you know. However, nowadays musicians have been growing independent of the CD selling business that was so important up until now. As a matter of fact, I took part in the filming of a movie recently.

The one that Angelina Jolie is directing, right?

That’s right. It’s a movie about war, called “Unbroken”, scheduled to be released this year in December. You know, at that moment, I thought that you can perform live on a stage, too, but as a musician you could also perform inside a production like a movie, couldn’t you.

That’s similar to making uploads on websites like YouTube, you know. Since popular artists can earn money even by just delivering their material through YouTube and such. When something is replayed like tens of millions of times, it translates into corresponding advertising revenue, so that’s why.

Therefore, right now musicians are almost completely shifting away from the style of business they had been using so far, which focused on lives and CDs.

Then, you should quickly do a movie featuring music or something.

Like what kind of movie?

It’s old but something like “Top Gun”, starring Tom Cruise, you know.

I know that movie, but was that so focused on music? (laughs)

Well then, what about something like a movie made up of only Blue Hearts tunes? I personally would really want MIYAVI to gradually carry out that sort of novel musical development though, you know.

I agree. I’m also definitely hoping to get on with doing what I can, little by little. For example, there’s the Tokyo Olympics in 6 years’ time, right? Of course, now we all also have to think about the ways in which we could promote Japan’s music and the rest of our culture to the people of the world, when the time comes.

MIYAVI should perform at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony and such.

Definitely, by Takapon’s power (laughs) [TN: Takafumi Horie is @takapon_jp on] I strongly feel that Japan’s way of doing things as it is right now doesn’t apply to the rest of the world and that it wouldn’t get through to them. Of course, I don’t know whether or not my way of doing things is right, but I am in this position right now and I believe passing that on to be my contribution, and so I’m thinking that I have to keep that up.


You see, when shooting the last scene for the movie, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t put up a performance that I could be satisfied with and I threw up. Just, I was no longer able to do anything under all that pressure, I was at my wits’ end. Yet, Angie sympathised with my situation and told me that “It’s alright to do it at your own pace, so give us the OK once you feel ready”, but still, that means that the other actors, the extras, the staff, everyone’s waiting for me. It’s also an important work to Angie and there’s a fair amount of money at stake, too, so in that sort of circumstance... ... .

That’s some considerable pressure indeed, isn’t it.

So, when I was thinking that there was no more hope for me, the casting director taught me that “It’s all about acceptance”. “Embrace it”, he said. “If it’s raining, don’t wish for the rain to stop, but welcome that rain”, he told me. At first, I didn’t understand what he was saying at all, but then I understood, for the first time, that it meant that I shouldn’t approach filming while in denial of my current situation, but upon accepting my situation as it is. And thus, as a result, I could tackle it by simply being true to myself, you know. Therefore, be it concerning music or be it any other kind of situation, I want to accept everything that comes my way and be just as I should be amidst it all.

By the way, MIYAVI, what exactly are the roots of your music?

What would those be, I wonder. There’s rock and there’s also funk mixed in. There’s blues, too, and while the jazz influences aren’t all that strong, there are certainly dance influences at play. That’s how I make my music, by mixing up various styles, you know. So, if you asked what label does that fit into, the answer would be none, you see. But I’m saying that in a positive sense, because I think of that as my forte.

Well, it’s certainly not ordinary, you know, this kind of originality.

Thank you (laughs).

That’s because I consider you to be a person who makes a novel type of music. If there’s anything I can also do to help, I’ll do it, so, whatever it may be, let me know?

Well, shall we do a guitar session or something at the end, then?

Eh!? What, all of a sudden. I only know 4 chords, there’s no way I could do something like that, is it. I did say you could ask anything of me, but that’s impossible, you know.

Then, next time, let’s appear at a festival together. From now on, practise your guitar-playing properly for me. Let’s do it, let’s do it.

Well, then, I shall think about that… … .

It’s a must.

Thank you very much for today. I am looking forward to the movie.

Thank you!


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